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*Scuttle's Big Wish* by Sean Delonas
Scuttle's Big Wish
by Sean Delonas
Ages 4-8 40 pages HarperCollins September 2006 Hardcover    

Scuttle the mouse loves cheese, and he works hard to find it. To get even a small piece of the golden stuff, Scuttle has to dodge cats, climb tables, or grab it off a mousetrap. It can be a struggle, but cheese suddenly becomes more accessible after he saves a life and is granted a wish.

A little dissatisfied with the lack of cheese in his life, Scuttle wishes that everything he touches would turn to cheese. His wish is granted, and cheese is everywhere! Once a rarity in his life, cheese now surrounds Scuttle. At first, this is anything but a problem. He sleeps on a cheese bed under a cheese blanket. He walks on a cheese floor under a cheese ceiling, and he hides in cheese shoes or cheese walls.

Too much cheese can have its drawbacks though, especially when you eat too much of it or if it keeps you from your friends. That's when a wish come true can turn into a great big regret.

Luckily, the wish granter in this book isn’t a stickler for the "one wish" rule. By the time Scuttle’s “big wish” comes to an end, he realizes the consequences of indulging and "wishing before you think." Living in a world only King Midas could relate to, Scuttle learns there is more to enjoy in life than just cheese.

While this book is reminiscent of the King Midas story, here the object of desire is cheese, not gold. Rendered in oil paints, the illustrations (and end pages) shine with golden colors and show great attention to detail. Drawn from the perspective of a mouse, the book shows the features only a mouse would notice, such as the nicks and scratches in the floor or the insects on the grass. Tweet, his best friend, looks so far away high up in his cage, while Pounce the cat looks monstrous in size with two platter-sized eyes.

Full of action and close-ups, Scuttle's Big Wish is a book about a small hero (who holds his tail when he's nervous) who makes a big statement. His story reminds us to appreciate what we have and to take the time to enjoy all that surrounds us.

Ryan Delonas wrote Scuttle's Big Wish when he was six years old. A future marine biologist, Ryan lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

Author and artist Sean Delonas works for the New York Post’s Page Six as a cartoonist. Scuttle's Big Wish is the first book he’s created with his son.

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